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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For about a year now, I have been giving thought to the idea of submitting my novel "Gifts of the Peramangk" to industry journal Kirkus for review. I have spoken to many colleagues, have read a number of different articles and watched several discussions that have evolved from those articles.

There have been almost equal bodies of opinion both for and against pursuing a Kirkus review and I've read some compelling points made on both sides.

After a lot of consideration, I've decided to kick off a crowd funding project via Pozible.

Australian Novel for Kirkus Review by Dean Mayes

I'm seeking support so I can submit my novel Gifts of the Peramangk to books journal Kirkus for review. As many of you know, Kirkus is a trade publication that is read widely within the industry and reviews from Kirkus can, potentially, carry a lot of weight.

With my publishers support, I am hoping to submit my novel via Kirkus Indie. The problem here, however, is that the submission fee is nearly $600 for an expedited review.

So, my project has started and I have put together a fairly decent set of rewards there for those who pledge to the project. It has a little over 40 days to run and I am hopeful of achieving my goal.

So I invite you to check out the campaign and see what you think.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I'll be interested to see whether a Kirkus review brings you the results you're looking for.  I've been rather on the fence about it, since I'm not sure paid reviews will really be seen as honest opinions by the people who read Kirkus.  You mentioned you've read a lot of discussions on the topic.  Can you give me any links or examples of what made you decide to pursue it?  What has convinced you that a paid review will be taken seriously by industry professionals reading Kirkus?  (Please understand, I don't mean that last sentence to be confrontational or judgmental.  It's hard to get inflection over the internet.  :)  I'm genuinely curious, as something must have convinced you it's a wise investment that can possibly benefit your career.  I'd like to know what, because it might convince me, too.)
 
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deanfromaustralia said:
With my publishers support, I am hoping to submit my novel via Kirkus Indie.
Wait. If you have a publisher, why wouldn't your PUBLISHER just send a copy of the book to Kirkus for review? Kirkus doesn't charge publishers. They only charge self publishers.

And for that matter, why are YOU handling getting reviews at all? This is the job of your publisher. This is where publishers are suppose to earn their keep. The job of a publisher is to do all of this stuff.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Wait. If you have a publisher, why wouldn't your PUBLISHER just send a copy of the book to Kirkus for review? Kirkus doesn't charge publishers. They only charge self publishers.

And for that matter, why are YOU handling getting reviews at all? This is the job of your publisher. This is where publishers are supposed to earn their keep. The job of a publisher is to do all of this stuff.
Quoted for truth.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Wait. If you have a publisher, why wouldn't your PUBLISHER just send a copy of the book to Kirkus for review? Kirkus doesn't charge publishers. They only charge self publishers.

And for that matter, why are YOU handling getting reviews at all? This is the job of your publisher. This is where publishers are suppose to earn their keep. The job of a publisher is to do all of this stuff.
Times are changing. I just received an ARC for a book that is to be published by HarperCollins in April. The author sent the ARC with a request for me to review her work and possibly blurb it. Why did she personally send it? I have never met this author and only briefly had contact with her via Facebook once. My opinion is that the authors who want to take their books to new levels of success aren't standing back and letting their publishers handle (or mishandle) everything. In addition to what the publisher marketing team does for them (us), trad-pubbed authors are touching base with other authors, book bloggers, readers, and even finding media outlets to possibly be featured in. Just like an indie author!

Though in the case of a Kirkus review, I can see letting the publisher take that task so they can take on the cost as well. However, you say you want to submit the book 'Kirkus Indie' but can that even be done if you aren't indie?
 

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As I understand it, Kirkus are charging huge amounts of money for a virtually worthless review (since it's the indie version and doesn't be listed alongside their standard reviews). It seems closer to a scam than a legitimate service--Kirkus are using their brand to make money of indies.

And you want to crowdfund to put money into this pseudo-scam?
 

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Let me see if I read this right.
You have a publisher so he could go through Kirkus because it is a trade published book but your publisher wants you to go through Indie and pay out the nose for a review. 
Second you want others to fund this $600 to get one review.  For that same $600 you want the crowd to fund, 157 people could buy your book and you could get more honest reviews and you would make either $209 or $419.81 depending on your royalties.  This is based on the $3.82 price tag at amazon today.  If I do the list price you will need 121 people to buy your book which will net you a grand total of $422.65.
Oh I also noticed that all your reviews on that book look very good.
Please think long and hard before spending that money or just asking people for money because if 200 people buy your book you will have made that $600.
 

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Let's see if I'm understanding this. You want to buy a review from Kirkus, but neither you, nor your publisher, wants to cough up the money to pay for it - you prefer to coax others to fund the cost for you, presumably because you and your publisher either don't have the money, or prefer not to spend your own on this, er, venture. Additionally, if your publisher is a real publisher, he'd be able to submit at no cost, but isn't doing that.

Did I miss some essential nuance?
 

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I'm impressed. Looks like $390 pledged so far. Anyone know what percentage of those pledges are actually paid?

Terrence, you know better. Edited.--Betsy
 
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KayBratt said:
Times are changing. I just received an ARC for a book that is to be published by HarperCollins in April. The author sent the ARC with a request for me to review her work and possibly blurb it. Why did she personally send it? I have never met this author and only briefly had contact with her via Facebook once. My opinion is that the authors who want to take their books to new levels of success aren't standing back and letting their publishers handle (or mishandle) everything. In addition to what the publisher marketing team does for them (us), trad-pubbed authors are touching base with other authors, book bloggers, readers, and even finding media outlets to possibly be featured in. Just like an indie author!
But we aren't talking about an author being proactive and working on something IN ADDITION to the publisher's efforts. That has nothing to do with times changing. Some authors have always done that on their own. Saying "I love Kay! I wonder if she would review my book?" is very different from forking over $600 for a review in a publication that reviews trade books for free.
 
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If you are paying for marketing above/beyond what your publisher is doing, that money could be better spent elsewhere. I can't see one paid Kirkus review being some mega-draw for sales. Especially a paid review.
If your publisher will not submit to Kirkus for you, use those funds elsewhere for bigger impact.
 

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To me the deal breaker with Kirkus is that they stick the paid reviews off in a SP ghetto.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
But we aren't talking about an author being proactive and working on something IN ADDITION to the publisher's efforts. That has nothing to do with times changing. Some authors have always done that on their own. Saying "I love Kay! I wonder if she would review my book?" is very different from forking over $600 for a review in a publication that reviews trade books for free.
You didn't say IN ADDITION in your first post. You said:

Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
The job of a publisher is to do all of this stuff.
And I didn't say he should fork over $600. I said this:

KayBratt said:
Though in the case of a Kirkus review, I can see letting the publisher take that task so they can take on the cost as well.
Basically, what I said in my post (since it looks like I need to clarify it if Julie didn't understand it) is a reminder to everyone reading this board that even trad-published authors take their career into their own hands and do much of the marketing, and I told the OP he should let his publisher take on that cost.

As for whether Kirkus is worth it or not, I'd say if you are submitting as an Indie the answer is no. If your publisher is submitting for you, possibly yes. But it's a gamble either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ElHawk said:
I'll be interested to see whether a Kirkus review brings you the results you're looking for. I've been rather on the fence about it, since I'm not sure paid reviews will really be seen as honest opinions by the people who read Kirkus. You mentioned you've read a lot of discussions on the topic. Can you give me any links or examples of what made you decide to pursue it? What has convinced you that a paid review will be taken seriously by industry professionals reading Kirkus? (Please understand, I don't mean that last sentence to be confrontational or judgmental. It's hard to get inflection over the internet. :) I'm genuinely curious, as something must have convinced you it's a wise investment that can possibly benefit your career. I'd like to know what, because it might convince me, too.)
Look - it's a big ask to have me post the myriad links to the articles and threads and discussions that are going on all over the web. A quick Google search using the phrase 'Are Kirkus reviews worth it' will quickly throw up those same discussions, so I would encourage you to do that.

I have based my decision on pursuing a review on several discussions I have had between authors I know, and industry professionals I've worked with as well as reading both positive and negative accounts from other authors who have dealt with Kirkus. I have read many reviews from Kirkus and I have decided that it is something that I want to pursue. I have no expectations as to the outcome of the review, if I am able to raise the fee and submit. I am well aware that they are know to be harsh review reviewers. But I am confident in my novel. I put an extreme amount of work into it, worked closely with an editor and a reading team before publication and I believe it has as much chance as any novel.

The idea to seek crowd funding for it was put to me as an option to meet the costs of the fee so I decided to go with that.

Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Wait. If you have a publisher, why wouldn't your PUBLISHER just send a copy of the book to Kirkus for review? Kirkus doesn't charge publishers. They only charge self publishers.

And for that matter, why are YOU handling getting reviews at all? This is the job of your publisher. This is where publishers are suppose to earn their keep. The job of a publisher is to do all of this stuff.
Yes I have a publisher - a small publisher - whose budget and resources are limited - I still have to do the bulk of the leg work in terms of marketing, promotion and seeking reviews. This isn't something that is unique nowadays. Even authors from bigger publishing houses have to do a lot of their own marketing, promotion and review seeking. I work closely with my publisher and am actively engaged in the business side of my novel/s.

Although publishers can indeed submit titles to Kirkus free for review, there are no guarantees that the title will be reviewed. By submitting the novel through Kirkus Indie - which allows for both self published and small press titles - and paying the fee, there is that guarantee there that the book will be reviewed.

Is it right to pay for a review? I don't see any problem with paying for a service like this where I'm not influencing the review process.

David J Normoyle said:
As I understand it, Kirkus are charging huge amounts of money for a virtually worthless review (since it's the indie version and doesn't be listed alongside their standard reviews). It seems closer to a scam than a legitimate service--Kirkus are using their brand to make money of indies.

And you want to crowdfund to put money into this pseudo-scam?
On what basis of understanding do you assert that Kirkus provides a virtually worthless review and that they are running a psuedo-scam and is that even a thing? It is either a scam or it isn't.

The last time I checked, crowd funding wasn't listed as a crime against humanity. It's not like I'm expecting something for nothing - hence the incentives listed at the crowd funding page.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Terrence OBrien said:
I'm impressed. Looks like $390 pledged so far. Anyone know what percentage of those pledges are actually paid?

Terrence, you know better. Edited.--Betsy
None of those pledges will be paid unless the target amount is reached.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

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JRTomlin said:
To me the deal breaker with Kirkus is that they stick the paid reviews off in a [self publilshing] ghetto.
This is the part that makes a paid Kirkus review a worthless review. I'd have the publisher submit it for a free review.
 

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Okey Dokey said:
You pay (or your donors pay) for a Kirkus review.

Does Amazon have a policy AGAINST paid reviews?
Amazon's policy is only against paid customer reviews on Amazon. What Kirkus publishes on its own site or catalog is none of Amazon's concern. And Amazon actually encourages authors to list Kirkus reviews in the editorial section of a book's Amazon page.
 
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